Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has disclosed plans to file legal action against human rights violators in the South-East.
Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma disclosed this on Thursday during a two-day peace summit and public hearing for Victims of Crime and Human Rights Violations in the South-East organized by Centre (RULAAC) in partnership with Action Group on Free Civic Space (AGFCS).
He said the group also intended to build evidence through testimonies by victims and witnesses with which they could advocate and push for urgent action to pull the zone out of the quagmire.
According to Nwanguma, the summit was convened for critical stakeholders to have conversations on the unabated insecurity in the South-East, as well as gain deeper insight into root of insecurity and the risk factors for its persistence.
He said, “The Federal government has not demonstrated interest or commitment towards Southeast security. Security agencies commit human rights violations against the people on a daily basis without being held accountable.
“The Summit will help stakeholders appreciate dimensions and drivers of insecurity and to jointly propose workable recommendations for ending insecurity and addressing human rights violations and shrinking civic space.
“It is also opportunity for stakeholders and media practitioners to monitor developments in the zone to also share their experiences and perspectives on how to address insecurity and reclaim the shrinking civic space in the South-East.
While regretting devastating impacts insecurity had had on socio-economic and political development, livelihoods, well-being and civic freedoms in the region, Nwanguma praised victims who agreed to come forward to testify.
“We thank them for their courage and contributions to making sure that what has happened to them or their loved ones will never happens to anyone again.
“We are also grateful to the panelists for honoring us with their esteemed presence,” he said.
Participants from the five Southeast states lamented various dimensions of insecurity in their respective states, including killings, kidnappings, robbery, crippling of economy of the zone by the sit-at-home syndrome.
Former Resident Electoral Commissioner, Enugu State, Dr. Emeka Ononamadu blamed previous governors in the zone for their complacency which he said paved way for the increased insecurity.
“The way security agencies were demobilized in the Northeast paved way for Boko Haram sect. When the non-state actors sacked the security personnel in the Southeast, people were bambuzzled thinking it was to their favor.
“Some were happy due to the untold hardship they’ve passed through under the police, just like what we saw during ENDSARS. The sacking of the police paved way for the so-called unknown gunmen.